Friday, May 28, 2010

Sex And The City: A LIFESTYLE!! Why I'm Hopelessly Devoted

                                      Charlotte, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda *Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. / LA Times 
It's the weekend when women everywhere storm movie theatres to catch the much anticipated SEX AND THE CITY 2!!!!!! I decided to list why I'm so devoted, as well as further encourage you to see the film of the summer.
      My love for the show began during season one, when an immediate connection was formed. I was a 17 year-old Junior in High School living in lil' ol' Chester, VA and probably the farthest example from  the show's main character, Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie Bradshaw. The writer in Manhattan, NY living the fashionable, chic, fast-paced, date-filled, sexually-charged life whilst in her 30's. Soon after my affair began, I got my Ma, friends, and sistah/family members hooked weekly to HBO, living vicariously through the ever-fabulous Carrie and her four amazing friends.
      It wasn't just the excellent writing- a feat that has yet to be duplicated on any television sitcom for that matter IMO- witty and powerful, forcing me to quote dialogue from ALL episodes recorded. It wasn't just the fashion- the first of its kind to delve completely into the worlds of couture, urban fashion, and affordable retail, making designers household names and blending all fashion and style elements effortlessly. Such was the genius of Patricia Field, who excelled at her job so (costume designer/creative muse) the fashion was considered he 6th cast member! It wasn't just the fact that every episode, movie, book and aspect of the brand spoke to the valued importance of sisterhood and maintaining friendships in spite of life's obstacles. A recurring theme in  popular culture, the strong message in the 80's during the "Golden Girls" era of television sitcoms was perfected during the 2000's by "Sex And The City."
       Women around the world no matter their color or cultural difference can relate to this major theme as errrrrrryone has life and male issues but if you are truly blessed have a girlfriend or two you can share triumphs, tragedy, gain support from and be supportive of. No, I don't think that it is any one of these four major points but the myriad of them all each having more relevance at whatever stage of my life or crazy experience I deal with in my twenty-sexxxy reality. Throughout Undergrad, popping in SATC DVDs and bonding with my girls on Sunday nights, strengthened some of the best friendships I still maintain to this day. When irritated by a man (how often does THAT happen) I can pop in my SATC and the ladies' experiences make me die with laughter at the similarities, parallels and even unimaginable comedy that is dating.
      I was fortunate to catch a Tuesday evening screening of the film at Phipps Plaza, as well as a Wednesday night screening at Atlantic Station. That's right. I've already seen it twice (gloat!)! Tuesday night was jammed packed, but well worth the wait as I enjoyed every second! Wednesday was especially cute as it was hosted by Necole Bitchie and Kenny Burns, not especially crowded and had the ever-present  ATL  photo opt. Atlanta celebrities including Project Runway's Michael Knight, RHOAtlanta's/ Purple Door Salon's Dwight, and The GlamBar Salon ladies were in the house.
     In the first film, the four year lapse since the ladies left HBO, the outtacontrol fashion, and Carrie & Big starting their "happily ever after,"were basic yet major points that made for a fluffy, feel-good run. If you swooned over the 1st, you will DIE as the sequel excellently revisits aspects of Carrie's past while exploring the honest complexities of being "newly married." Hell. Married period. Critics of the first film will truly appreciate the second for the realistic ending, better cinematography, and the blatant maturity of all four characters. There was backlash this week against SATC2 for the portrayal of Arabic culture and women in general in the Middle East. While I must do more research on the customs and traditions in Abu Dhabi and in the Middle East in general (no spoiler-plot line deals with Samantha's sexuality being offensive. Shocker.) It even sets the stage for a third film, though there are murmurs that Kim Cattral (Samantha) refuses to play the role ever again. Even if they stop at the sequel, it was a perfect, fun-filled ending to the iconic television/movie/brand.
      *** I KNOW you will check out the film, so PLEASE comment on your thoughts as I would love to discuss!!! I plan to post a detailed review on Sunday night but didn't want to spoil it for everyone until then! Also, if you're as large of a fan as I, pick up a copy of The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell  (Sex And The City creator/authoress).
It's Carrie's coming-of-age tale as she navigates senior year of High School. TOO CUTE!! Copped it!! With that, enjoy the SATC2 movie weekend, enjoy your sistah girlfriends, and drink (responsibly) plenty of cosmopolitans in honor of my FAVORITE series!!!***



Monday, May 24, 2010

Venus' T&A Takes Over Tennis Tournament-Not The Best Look!!

             Venus Williams, tennis phenom, businesswoman, and spokesperson, shocked fans, critics and well... everyone, when she played in Sunday's tournament in this revealing outfit at the French Open. *Raises fingers to the temple* Now. I'm all about making a fashion statement, even the most avantgarde  of dress has its place and my support. Venus claims that she was trying to "distract" her opponent Patty Schnider (mission accomplished). Venus won 6-3,6-3 in the first round. However. I have (2) issues with the crimes of fashion committed here.
    The first is that Venus designed this tacky, ill-flattering, material-mishmash! She proudly takes responsibility for the design, fit, and even (especially, sadly) the flesh-toned sport shorts beneath. Chile, the idea to create a lace tennis dress is a cheesy aim at overt sexuality and attention. Seriously?? Average female tennis players, Buffy in the Hamptons per example, likely do not wish to be sexy  sporty, skillful, and sweaty and definitely don't want to mix lace with athletic fibers while on the court.
    The second reason I've issues with Venus' choice of tournament wear is because it is grossly inappropriate?!?! She is the second-greatest tennis champion in the world! Do any of her professional colleges dress like that? No?? So we can asses that her skanky skirt all was not the daum norm. WHY on earth would she want to be immediately viewed in a sexual light, her talent forced to take a backseat-if only for a moment- as she is judged by her gratuitous clothing?? Is it not enough to be a global brand for athletic excellence, have countless honors and awards, hold records and continue your reign as the best in your field? No, she prefers to cling to the stereotype of "Jezebel", opting to sell aspects of her sexuality in what would seem a desperate manor.
     Being more conscientious of non-offensive fashion choices for tournaments, would serve her clothing business better in the long run as more could relate to her as a global brand...but that would be too much like right. If more women were comfortable in their awesome feminine power, there wouldn't be so many examples (Venus) of falling back on the tried-and-true imaging constructs (sexual deviant, Jezebel, "Temptress", etc.) Less aiming to appeal to the sexual approvals ofmen and more confidence being our awesome-selvs without a sexual stigma.



Friday, May 21, 2010

If You Missed Grey's-You Missed LIFE, NEW HAZIQ VIDEO!!!

Last night the entire WORLD was watching abc's Grey's Anatomy for the season 6 Season Finale 2-hour episode. I'm not forming my opinion just because I'm a HUGE Grey's fan (Shonda is my writing ICON)... but this was the best. episode. EVER!!!! It had everything including drama, violence, and love, but kept the audience on the edge-of-their seats the entire time!!!! The writing-excellent. The acting-Emmy Award winning. There were about 10 different plots that all worked together brilliantly! None of my favorite characters died, but there were a few surprising turns from new characters that I cant' wait to see more of next season!! I can't rave enough!!!!!!!
(Cutie to the right is my Dream man-seriously- Actor Jesse Williams *Pause to catch my breath* out of his scrubs)
**Senior blogger John Kubicek from pointed out (excellently) at least 10 major points as to why last night was the BEST ever, but here are my top 4:
1. Meredth Loves the Chief-from the excitement then loss over her pregnancy, quietly yet painfully watching her man take a bullet, knocking out BFF Yang to save her man, and operating on her nemisis while her man is being saved... Meredith proved finally that she is hopelessly devoted to her husband Dr. Shepard. LOVED it.
2. Operating Room/Shooter Scene- When Owen smoothly transitioned into the OR where the audience sees Yang operating at gunpoint- I know the whole nation was like ERR?!?! WhattheJOEJACKSONHELL did we miss?!?! But alas... that was just EXCELLENT writing!!
3. April the Intern-from her stumbling over her best friend's bloody body in the first 20 min. to her Emmy-award worthy freak-outs, stammers, and shock moments... she just became a new favorite character of mine last night. Awesome job!!
4. Baleigh's Breakdowns- Baleigh's line, "WHAT is that in my eye?! There's water in my eye?!?" as she's operating under the worst conditions and begins to break down... was the best. I teared up. It set the tone for the entire episode... life's hard, but you have to keep operating in spite of the tears!
Thankfully everyone that I wanted to survive did... and well... let me know what you think of the episode- Watch the FULL SEASON FINALE Here and your thoughts for next season.


-Artist (with real messaging & intelligent presentation) HaZiQ debuted his first video-soon to air on MTV2- from his debut project. The video combines two of his singles, "Freedom" then seques to "Hussla" and the release party/showcase held at SLICE in Atlanta on Wednesday night, was a HUGE success!!!! Standing room only! Check out the video, support the movement of good music. For more HaziQ check his blogspot.

With that, I'm going to enjoy this Friday rain!



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sex Sells & Pays Well If You're A White Female & On Tape...

*Blogging. Consistantly... this is a concept that is lost with yours truly though I really wish I could be GREAT!! The last week since my birthday I was reaching out for aid to revamp the site ( and I blogged not a letter?!?! *GASP* The two readers I had have probably put me down in exile... but I swear I want to be a better writer... so I will press on, in spite of my diminished audience and inconsistant blogging past. (PAST people!!)* Anywho: Let's GET IT!!!

Kendra "Suffering" a la Kim Kardashian Sex Tape
The hot tea today was that E!'s girl (yours & mine too) Kendra Wilkinson will get a cut of the profits from the release of her much publicized and soon-to-be-released sex tape. That's right. The same sex tape that Kendra publicly argued against the release of for several weeks... as now she is a "wife" & "mother". *le sigh* No longer longer a Playmate, Kendra Wilkinson's celebrity began whilst she dated Hugh Hefner and starred as one of his (3) "Girls Next Door" on the wildly popular hit-E! Network reality show. Fast Forward several seasons, a marraige to NFL-er Hank Basket, another E! reality show and a new baby; single-sex tape Kendra is not the same woman. Allgedly her ex boyfriend Justin Frye (who was promoting the tapes release) legally sold the tape(s) for $100,000.00. Kendra negotiated her payment and will receive up to half of the profits from tape distribution. That equates to millions of dollars as the owner of Vivid Video Steven Hirsch (Same company responsible for such sex tape/smut hits as Pamela Anderson, Kim Kardashian & Mindy McCreey) says Kendra's tape will be one of the best-selling of all time. WOW Craig. WOW.
Poor Hank and Hank Jr. At least the family will be paid, which is a great distraction from shame and moral embarassment. I love Kendra's bubbly personality and the fact that she LUVS Black culture (or at least her commercial interpretation of our culture) and the fact she's BFF with (willing to P-Pop in public for) Too-Short. This story gets a WhattheJoeJacksonHell because there are countless whiteheaux that have catapulted their sexcapades (on film) into multi-million dollar empires... but I draw a blank at one Black woman?!?! Seriously: if a Black female crosses into sex tape category, she's labeld a "Ho" and considered as valuable as throwback Jerseys from '98-'02. Not even Supahead has had the branding sucess of Queen Kim Kardashian (almost insulting comparrison) It seems that Black female sexploitation doesn't sell as white female sexploits do, and that... is the real head scratcher.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

GO, GO SHAWTY-IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!! 4 Points of Twenty-Sexxxy

  Every year, if blessed to make it one mo' gin, individuals grow excited to celebrate (our ) birthdays!! The one day of the year others are forced to acknowledge your older age, give gifts (optional), but generally everyone supports the day, designated as "yours" for birthday shenanigans. Today is my day!! I'm blessed to turn another twenty-sexxxy (yea RIGHT I'll tell you how quickly I'm decaying) and I'm playing it rather low key. No trips, mega-parties or...well...some of you know it can go DOWN. I'm reflecting and trying to "get my life together" at the moment. In the last year or so I've been struggling to understand and navigate the many pitfalls and life lessons they call "your twenties". More shocking shenanigans than world-domination, there are four initiatives aimed to improve the quality of life I wish to try Who's coming with me??

1. "30 Before 30"
Under the influence and example of my bestie Claytus* I created a master list of things I wish to accomplish, places I want to travel, and experiences I wish to have before I turn the big 3-0!! What are the many things you wish to tackle before a major milestone in your life?? See your vision, write it down, make it plain! Now's the time...

2. "Call Me Yogi The Bear"
When I was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico w. Dr. DD* last month, we met a man who read our palms. Now, he was prolly just a drunken old man in love with some chocolate American young ladies, but he swore I'd live a long time, have poor luck with men (he advised I shouldn't be bothered with searching the man will find ME), and in the meantime should focus on ruling the world... and yoga. ERR?? Funny thing is...I LOVE YOGA!!! I wish I was more disciplined and skilled. Now opposed to wishing, I'm getting more active. We'll see the results of my yoga dedication if I look 25 at 30. #Hmmmmm

3. "Finding MY Secret"
The major lessons I've tried to master in the last few years are patience, gratitude, and purpose. Clearly I've not the fame nor career success I've envisioned I would at this stage in life, but I have so much to be thankful for nonetheless. I tend to rush, covet other lifestyles or demand the blessings of others when I've no clue as to what they have to do to secure that blessing. Wrong. I should graciously appreciate all life has to show, even during the "slow" points. I've yet to master "Staying in MY lane". Two of my FAV LS's* suggested I get familiar with "The Secret", and use the principals to grant me peace.  If I watch VH1-I can try the methods of "The Secret".

4. "Reading Is Essential To My Soul"
I used to be a voracious reader-knocking out 3-4 books a week! I dunno what happened, turning 21, college or reality TV (I blame all), I have dramatically slowed down. The last period I would devour books was Graduate school, and as I know most words to simple commercial rap songs on the radio, the LEAST I could do is devote more energy into expanding my mind with quality literature! A lady can't take over the world if she's uneducated (wink)! SO: I've resolved to cut back on the #WhattheJoeJacksonHell Television programming and read more! I'm even starting a book cipher on this site, right at this moment Craig!! Every moth (30 days) a book will be selected for reading and discussion, just like a normal book club. We can meet in Atlanta, but extend the discussion to the site or Twitter-still must iron out the details. The first book selected, is "If It Takes A Village, Build One" by Malaak Compton-Rock. All about service, ways to identify how you wish to serve and an interactive service guide, what a nice way to begin the Book cipher (a self gratifying hobby) by learning more about helping others. Malaak's example and work through her organizations inspire me and I hope it does the same for others.
*Please feel free to offer up additional names for the Book cipher, and books to read for the month. It's no fun when the homies can't have none! I can't wait to have discussion!!

So, in closing, remember to be thankful everyday, no matter how bad it seems. Trust. I know bad. But you don't have to be here, everyday is a blessing, and some one's hurting worse than you. There's always tomorrow to try and be better, do better, and get it right!! Love ya'll, and stay blessed!!



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

RIP Legendary Lena: Please Refer To The Instruction Manual

"You have to be taught to be second class. You're not born that way." -Lena Horne 1918-2010
    The world was shocked and saddened to learn that the legendary Lena Horne passed away at the glorious age of 92. Known as the first Black woman to secure a major motion-picture contract, Horne was the blueprint for other Black Hollywood starlets.World-renowned not only for her astounding beauty but her television and Broadway credits as well.

     Lena made history by demanding that she would never play the role of "maid", and was first to be featured in movie advertisements alongside A-list white stars. She always appeared reserved, and full of grace in both her on and off-screen persona, as she realized the responsibility and impact of her media image across the globe. She was often met with opposition and when her movies ran in the South her scenes were often cut out as not to offend white viewers.
      "Mississippi wanted its movies without me," she told the New York Times in 1957. "So no one bothered to put me in a movie where I talked to anybody, where some thread of the story might be broken if I were cut." Notoriously taking hits to her dignity, she persevered in Hollywood grounded in her convictions. She demanded roles with dignity to refute negative connotation and association associated with Black female images in media. In the Washington Post article, film Historian Donald Bogle said the following of Lena Horne's impact on Black female imaging in Hollywood:

"Movies are a powerful medium and always depicted African American women before Lena Horne as hefty, mammy-like maids who were ditzy and giggling," Bogle said. "Lena Horne becomes the first one the studios begin to look at differently . . . Really just by being there, being composed and on-screen with her dignity intact paved the way for a new day" for black actresses.

  Lena's resume is lengthy and filled with accomplishments the pop tarts of today only read much less dream about. Lena Horne leaves a legacy worth studying on how to be iconic. I feel many young Black females in the public spotlight should be more careful with the images they voluntarily present *Can KatStacks read this??*. Realizing that the days of blatant segregation and racial discrimination are not so far away nor have the times changed so dramatically that all Black women have escaped characterization by the actions of one and stereotypes of old. Remember Lena Horne with fond gratitude for all she sacrificed, endured and accomplished, pray for her family during their bereavement, and encourage young people to be familiar with her work.
Lena Horne singing "Stormy Weather": 1943


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Basketball Heaux: Sterotypical Takeover on VH1

 Basketball Wives, is the breakout "hit" that airs on VH1's Sunday Stereotype (Coon Edition) evening entertainment block. Better dubbed "Basketball Heaux", I've tried faithfully for 4 weeks to hang in there and view, if only to support a Black show with an all-female cast. *Fingers to the temple/ DEEP Sigh* There are so many factors however, that make this show deplorable, I had to blog it out. A few reasons why I simply...cannot... with this joke of a show.
1) Show Title is Inflated BULLOCKS!!!- "Baskeball WIVES" would imply that these women are or (at least at some point in time) were married to NBA Players. So how did the producers/editors let pass that only (2) of the (6) casted have even seen a wedding band or certificate?!?! The show's executive producer Shaunie O'neal (Currently divorcing Shaq) and Jennifer Williams (married to Eric Williams) are the only qualifying leads. The other (4) are variations of jumpoffs, delusional relationships (Evelyn Lozado was "engaged" for over 10 years to Antoine Walker-sowwy boo. You were NOT the ONE), or the ever-common "Baby Mama" role.
2) Spousal Apperances Border Abusive & Controling- I'm not clear when it became okay, but misogyny and verbal abuse towards women is definately considered cool again. How else to explain the 2nd episode's uncomfortable dinner scene between Jennifer and her cheating husband Eric? The conversation where he (basically) admits to cheating, blames his infidelities on the highly "emotional" sport of basketball, tells his wife to get over it and get her own life, then finishes with refusing her company for the evening while he heads out with his "friends". *le Sigh* WHATTHEJOEJACKSONHELL?!?!
Or how about the 4th episode's dinner scene with Matt and naive fiance Gloria, though she plays Suzy Homemaker for her guests, the tense undertone remains his unspoken infidelities. Oh, and distrust of her friends becuase they may shed light to the truth which EVERYONE knows?! Now, I'm no relationship expert, but those that isolate, threaten, abuse, or are unequal emotionally in no way appear healthy. Errrryone knows the backstories on most of these jive-@$$ "relationships" thanks to or your favorite gossip blogsite.
3) WHAT do they DO?! WHAT is their PURPOSE?! - Daunting tasks in the lives of the chosen, pampered and played, include shopping ("Lemme put down my Chanel bag"), makeovers ("Royce. Needs.Breast implants."), dinners ("It's my independence party!"), and of course, fiending off the always-thirsty female groupie. Yes, although the "wives" themselves were but a mere punanny-pop away from permenant groupie status, they feel threatened nearly every episode by alll the other women mimicking their lifestyles and actions. They have the nerve to fight other "groupies" like "Plastic Surgery" whilst out in public. Yes. Screaming and drink-throwing over the age of 30. Class was not a prerequisite for hooking up with these ladies nor securing reality show fame. #justsayin #Proofsintheepisode
      Yawwwwn. The entire cycle is rather sad due to the lack of substance. There's never discussion about anything relevant other than who's sexxing who's Baller, and judging by Royce's infamous "How Low" display**, they don't even qualify for free game tickets. Tragic. Aside from child rearing (only 1 wife is ever taped with offspring), and their attachment to famous penis, none have a valid reason to be televisied. Television/ pop culture has room for only one public sexpot with mindless, Jezebel antics experiencing zero consequence or judgement. Her name is Kim Kardashian. Basketball Heaux are #Latelikecnn.
     I hope this show is not renewed for an additional season, because Black women need another negative sterotype attached like the gulf coast needs BP oil. I have a feeling it will be picked up again due to it's popularity, talk of another spinoff (NFL Wives-DEAD), and the legions of young women who aspire for even a taste of the materialism, emotional voids, and lack of respect often associated with being a "Basketball Wife". Excuse me, VH1 has revealed their truth: Basketball Heaux. Exploiting their lifestyle for reality tv coin and exposure.

**(In case u needed a refresher-Royce degrades herself for some Clippers tickets during SuperBowl wknd. Jesus take the wheel.)**